Key Issues for Community Consideration

Te Mata Park is unique in many ways. Not only because of its landscape, ecology and cultural significance, but also its status as private land, managed by The Te Mata Park Trust on behalf of the community. The Park is protected in perpetuity by an Open Space Covenant through the Queen Elizabeth II Trust, which ensures that the land and its open space values are always preserved. In practical terms, this places stringent limits on any changes to the landscape or development within the Park.

Historically, the Park has been managed by volunteers (including the Trustees), and it is only since 1998 that the Trust has received a small annual contribution from HBRC to fund a part-time caretaker. Otherwise, the Park has relied solely on donations, grants and volunteer contributions.

This Management Plan will set a vision, identify priorities, and confirm an action plan for the Park to take us through to 2025. The Trust’s goal is to provide greater financial security for the Park by seeking increased operational funding from local authorities, securing grants from central government and relevant trusts for specific projects, and continuing with its community engagement and fundraising programs.

Key Issues

As part of the ongoing management and protection of the Park, the Trust Board has identified the following key issues and is seeking your input on these challenges and opportunities. While we have suggested some potential questions below, we are keen to hear about issues, concerns, ideas or solutions you may have on any aspect of the Park.

1. Continued vehicular access to the summit : Will a time come when we restrict the size of vehicles driving to the top and even consider closing the upper section of the road during peak periods?

2. Improvement of the summit facilities : Can we improve the aesthetics and landscaping at the summit? Could we limit the number of car parks at the summit and expand parking facilities at the Saddle Lookout below? Should we consider significantly improving the walking track from Saddle to Summit to encourage walkers off the road?

3. Congestion and facilities at the Main Gates carpark : Do we need to increase the capacity of the Main Gates car park? Would a landscaped picnic area at the Main Gates be of value to the community?

4. Lack of amenities : The Management Plan will address the provision and maintenance of walking and cycling tracks, as well as toilets, rubbish bins and drinking water – where should these be located?

5. Peak House and revenue raising activities : What could be commercially sustainable or alternate uses for Peak House? Would the community support the creation of a designated area of the Park for commemorative planting to raise funds? Should the Trust consider providing ‘naming rights’ for donors for specific trees, facilities or projects throughout the Park?

6. Visitor impacts: Vandalism and thefts from parked cars and litter are an ongoing concern – how can we limit the impact that visitors have on the Park?

7. Expansion and Land Acquisition : Should the Trust consider opportunities to expand the Park’s area?

8. Information, education and track signage : Te Mata Park is part of the land associated with the ancestor Te Rehunga of Ngati Ngarengare, a sub-tribe of Ngati Kahungunu. The Park has a rich human history spanning several centures and the upper parts in particular have strong cultural importance to Maori. How can we provide more information about the history and ecology of the Park? Should the Trust invest in web-enabled delivery (eg apps) and/or fixed signage? The Trust will be reviewing maps and directional signage throughout the Park to provide complete clarity for all users, including walkers and bikers. What should these look like?

For a printable version of the above : Te Mata Park Management Plan Issues Paper Oct 2015

HAVE YOU SAY

We had a great response to the user survey run during October and November 2015 with 661 responses.  You can read more about how our plans are progressing here, and the Trust is still keen to get community feedback and suggestions on the current Draft Concept Plan, Walking and Mountain Bike Tracks and Key Areas for Improvement.  Any feedback should be sent by email to rachels@hdc.govt.nz by the end of January 2016 please.

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